From the Polarized Mind to Awe: An Existential Humanistic Approach to Life: An Interview with Dr. Kirk Schneider

Kirk Schneider DVD coverKirk J. Schneider, Ph.D. is a leading spokesperson for existential-humanistic psychology and the recent past editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Dr. Schneider is an adjunct faculty member of the Existential-Humanistic Institute and the author/editor of 10 books, includingThe Polarized Mind and Awakening to Awe.

In this DVD, Dr. Kirk Schneider offers his insights into the “transformational power of awe, which he depicts as “the wonder and sense of adventure toward living,” He provides an historical and a deeply personal perspective on its varied dimensions. He emphasizes how a sense of awe can change people’s lives, saying that “for me at least, it’s being in touch with the fuller ranges of my experiences, from my deepest dreads to my most dazzling desires and fascinations.” Dr. Schneider describes ‘romantic awe’ as it is manifested in intimate relationships and stresses the importance of therapists and parents developing a sense of awe. Dr. Schneider goes on to elucidate his concept of the “polarized mind” which he defines as “the fixation on a single point of view to the utter exclusion of competing points of view.” He refers to this rigid way of thinking as “a psychological plague of humanity” and delineates its profoundly destructive effects on individuals and societies throughout history. To challenge such rigidity, he encourages the cultivation of a more meaningful life by learning to look at one’s life through the lenses of transience, the unknowing, surprise, vastness, sentiment, and solitude.

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